Botswana has launched a new eVisa for foreign tourists as part of the country’s expansion of digital services.

Online visas are becoming more popular around the world as both governments and travellers are increasingly embracing the digital age. Visa requirements for many countries are already available online and more countries have also introduced the option to obtain a visa online. 

Travellers to Botswana will be able to complete their visa applications online, easing their entry into the country at all land and air arrival points. The new service will also reduce the government’s investment of funds, time, paperwork, and manpower allocated for visa applications.

The technology is provided by Middle-Eastern based Pangea, which is also modernising Botswana’s computerised immigration and citizenship system.

The entire management of the visa application process is now transferred to the digital space. The traveller enters the country’s eVisa portal, submits the application and the supporting documents online, pays online and communicates with the authorities over the internet. If and when the application is approved, the eVisa can be downloaded, printed, brought to the airport, and help both authorities and travellers to minimise queues and cumbersome paper-based documentation. 

The Covid-19 global health crisis is expected to accelerate the global trend towards online services as tourists look at reducing their contacts at consulates or embassies in their home countries and at entry points at the travel destination. In the case of Botswana, this is extremely important since the country has a limited number of diplomatic offices abroad so the eVisa option will contribute to making travelling to the popular safari destination much easier for visitors from various countries. 

“We are in the process of integrating our eVisa solution and expect to have it operational by the end of the year,” said Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea EVP, general manager government division, adding, “eVisa will dramatically speed up the entry process in Botswana and will translate into a substantial savings in both administration costs and time needed without compromising border security.” 

Photo – top of page: Okavango Delta, Botswana © 2015 Justin Hall

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